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Luxembourg: Ex-PwC auditor that disclosed information on secret tax deals between multinationals & Luxembourg prosecuted over violating trade secrets

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Article
26 April 2016

LuxLeaks trial to be whistleblower showcase

Author: Aleksandra Eriksson, EUobserver (Belgium)

Five years ago, Antoine Deltour quit his job at PwC, the global auditing company, in Luxembourg. But before leaving his desk for good, the French employee copied 28,000 documents of sweetheart tax deals between companies and the Luxembourg authorities to an external drive. Then he leaked them to the press.

His former employer filed a complaint. The trial begins Tuesday (26 April) in Luxembourg’s Cite Judiciaire. Antoine Deltour is charged with theft, violating trade secrets and secrecy laws as well as illegally accessing a database…

They are the only people that have been prosecuted in the wake of the scandal…

The authorities found no infringement of law behind the divulged “tax rulings” - written interpretations of tax law issued by Luxembourg to companies and individuals…

Beyond Deltour's case, the trial raises the issue of the status and protection of whistleblowers and journalists.

[Hungarian MEP Benedek Javor] hailed Deltour and said it was unacceptable that the whistleblower was in court, but those involved in tax avoidance were not. The lawmaker said informants must be better protected…[Also refers to Apple, Amazon, Deutsche Bank, Ebay, Kraft Heinz, Ikea, PepsiCo]

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Article
25 April 2016

WIN [Whistleblowing International Network] calls on PwC to withdraw its complaint against Luxleaks whistleblower

Author: Public Concern at Work

Members of the Whistleblowing International Network, a global coalition of whistleblowing NGOs, call on PricewaterhouseCoopers to withdraw its complaint against Antoine Deltour, the whistleblower at the heart of the Luxleaks scandal...

"Mr Deltour acted in the tradition of public interest whistleblowers. His disclosure is consistent with international principles and standards that inform a growing body of national whistleblowing statutes. There is no evidence to suggest that he acted untruthfully. His disclosures were manifestly in the public interest. He did not seek to profit from his disclosures. Nor did he have reason to believe that, had he used internal channels to make his disclosures, his concerns would occasion remedial action. His prosecution because of your company’s criminal complaint suggests his assessment was accurate."

For the full letter see here.

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Article
22 April 2016

A WhistleBlower's Message to Canada

Author: Canadians for Tax Fairness

…"Canadians deserve to know to what extent multinationals are avoiding taxation,” Antoine Deltour told Canadians for Tax Fairness. “Big corporations often reach effective tax rates close to 0% while small businesses face full corporate tax rates. It's a matter of loyalty. Multinationals need a full range of public utilities and services, from roads to a skilled workforce. Yet, they avoid their contribution to it. It is hard to comprehend why this happens."…

He admits he copied unencrypted tax files from PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC)in 2010. The information contained in those files became known as LuxLeaks. They blew the lid off the tax dodging practices of the world’s most powerful multinationals…

Six years later, the only people to be charged are Deltour, a second auditor, and a French journalist…But not one multinational faces charges in any country. Meanwhile, 29-year-old Deltour could face up to 10 years in jail…

“There are people making a lot of money enabling criminals and terrorists with their secret tax evasion and money laundering. They are guilty of aiding and abetting criminal activity. They are the ones who should be facing the courts.” [said C4TF’s Dennis Howlett]

… Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna… described LuxLeaks as a “game changer” that led EU regulators to expand a probe into tax deals across the 28-nation bloc…[Also refers to Apple, Starbucks]

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